Thursday, October 20, 2016

Kilmainham Gaol - Dublin Historic Prison (Review)

Hundred Year Old Prison Door - Dublin
On a recent trip to Dublin I had a meeting directly across the street from what seemed to be a very large tourist attraction. I learned it was Kilmainham Gaol prison and that I just had to take time to go! Super glad that I did - as a fan of history and wanting to get off the beaten path a bit. This was an excellent stop. 

I didn't realize much of the history of Ireland until I took this tour. The prison was built in 1787 and many key figures in Irish history were incarcerated and executed here. There could be some really fun costume/haunted house events here. Lots of details on various websites and books. 

Everyone has to go through on a tour - which is a good thing. Our guide was knowledgeable and fun. She put into context the conditions in the country versus the prison - sharing that some were trying to get put into prison as the conditions her, which were harsh (overcrowding, dirty, little food) were better than on the streets. The prison was for both women and men - noted somewhere that 40% of inmates could have been women. This was attributed to lack of employment opportunities or marriage after males emigrated. (women arrested for vagrancy or prostitution or other...)

Perhaps owing to my love of antiques like old woods - I was fascinated with the doors and metal work as you can see in the photos below.

Other Dublin / Ireland events and tours on my blog can be reviewed here.

Doors of Kilmainham Gaol

Doors of Kilmainham Gaol
Doors of Kilmainham Gaol

All these massive doors off dark dreary hallways. Wondering how they creaked and sounded being slammed shut :(

Doors of Kilmainham Gaol

Then we went into the "new wing"  built in the 1860s, to reflect the ideals current prison theory. Every cell is visible from a central platform and there is a great deal more light. There were a few underground chambers, like dark solitary - which we were not able to see on this day. They say this area is frequently used for movies - I can see why!

Kilmainham Gaol - new wing

Kilmainham Gaol - new wing; iron stairway

Kilmainham Gaol - new wing

Kilmainham Gaol - Teresa Marie; doing time!

Hope you enjoy!

Teresa Marie

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